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Application Timing, etc.

Discussion in 'Physician Scientists' started by ecoli, Jun 12, 2008.

  1. ecoli

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    I've been going a little nuts over the last week, because I realized I'm probably way behind on my application.
    I haven't written any of my essays yet (planning on starting this weekend on the primary application essays). I'm not taking the MCATs until August 5th.

    Even worse, I've been having a hard time getting my professors to write the promised letters of recommendation. Therefore, I haven't been able to set up a committee meeting at the pre-health office at my school; a school that is notoriously slow at getting letters and applications out to schools (some students have been known to have to wait as long as two months).

    When is the best time to send out the primary application, and can you do this before you actually get your MCAT scores and/or letters of recommendation?

    I hate to send my application in late, but I'm sort of up against the wall here (and at least it's not all my fault - a little consolation, I guess).
     
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  3. seraph524

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    Hrmm...the latest of anybody I know sent her primaries in august, and didn't actually send out secondaries until mid-september. She still was able to get interviews at plenty of schools.

    You can send out primaries before your MCAT score, but nothing will happen at the schools until they get your score (I think...can anybody confirm this?)

    As for letters of recommendations, they are only necessary after you send in secondaries - secondaries will not be processed without letters.

    Considering its only June, I'd say you are still fine.

    Good luck on the mcat!
     
  4. Neuronix

    Neuronix Total nerd
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    I abstain to some extent from commenting in these threads because it's been awhile since I applied. But when I applied, my secondaries didn't come till August or September and I submitted my primary the first day I could submit it. Have things gotten earlier?

    Every year I see applicants who submitted their secondaries right before the deadline. It's still possible because schools know some top students will still do this. It's just if you're not top it benefits you to apply early before the school begins to think "oh crap we're interviewing too many" and tightens up. Still, a September AMCAS certification doesn't sound that late to me. You'd probably get your seconaries in the end of Setember or October and with a prompt response I don't really think you'd be behind. Any first years want to back me up on this or provide a more current perspective?
     
  5. QofQuimica

    QofQuimica Seriously, dude, I think you're overreacting....
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    First, deep breath. Submitting earlier is obviously better, but you have to work with what you've got. If the hold up is the LORs, you need to become more assertive about getting them done. Do it under the guise of helping by sending each prof a little CV (one page max) with some info they can include. (This is a good thing to do for anyone you ask to write a LOR anyway.) Do that *today.* Give them a week. Then this Friday, follow up and ask if there's anything more you can do to help, because you know how busy they are. Repeat as many times as is necessary. In the mean time, get your AMCAS essay done and get that baby submitted this week. You don't need to have MCAT scores or LORs to submit AMCAS. Once you're done, start working on the secondary essays for any school that is nonscreening (which most of them are). You can find the prompts in the pre-allo forum. Don't actually submit any secondaries until you're invited to do so by the schools, but be ready to submit them as soon as you do get the invite. If you do all this, by the time your scores come out in Sept., you should basically be complete everywhere. Best of luck to you. :)
     
  6. QofQuimica

    QofQuimica Seriously, dude, I think you're overreacting....
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    It depends on the school. You go to a nonrolling school, so I'm sure that has a lot to do with it. But when I applied, I got my first secondaries in July and went on my first interviews in August. This was for MD-only, so I won't swear that the schedule is identical for you all. There were definitely MD/PhD students interviewing also at some of my fall interviews though.
     
  7. ecoli

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    Thanks for the tips guys. It seems that I'm still going to have a relatively late application, by virtue of the MCATs. But, this past week, I started stalking my professors who owe me LORs, and it seems that their going to come through by next week. And also, I found out that I can schedule my committee meeting before I take the MCATs, so as long as I get some essays done now-ish, I won't be that late.

    The big reason why I think I might be getting it in late-ish, is because I think my first deadline is in October (though I think that's just for the primaries). Since that seems to be an early deadline (secondary deadline for Tri-I seems to be in November) I guess it's not going to be as big a deal as I initially anticipated. We'll see about that, though.
     
  8. Neuronix

    Neuronix Total nerd
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    This is pretty rare for MD/PhD. The only program that comes to mind being this early is Pitt. Most MD/PhD programs are not this early.
     
  9. seraph524

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    Add Vanderbilt to the list of schools interviewing in August. The rest seem to only pick up mid-September.
     
  10. QofQuimica

    QofQuimica Seriously, dude, I think you're overreacting....
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    Ok. I didn't interview there until fairly late. I remember most of the Southern schools as being particularly early (except UAB), so maybe it's a regional thing too.

    If it's helpful to the OP or anyone else, I definitely had an August interview at Vanderbilt. I remember that one in particular because we got hit by a hurricane in FL the day before, and all the airports in the whole state were closed down. I had to take a very early flight the morning of the interview and wear my suit on the plane, but I did just make it in time--fortunately TN is an hour behind us. :p

    Edit: Hahaha, seraph, I was typing that at the same time as you were. :D
     
  11. ecoli

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    That's interesting... I thought the interview process started much later than that.

    I was looking at Tri-I, and their interviews were twice in October and November (with the deadlines slightly before that). The consensus seemed to be that that was an unusually early program.

    Am I wrong about that/ Should I be trying to get this done even faster?
     
  12. seraph524

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    Most schools start their interview season in September, with a select few starting as early as August (Vanderbilt and Pittsburgh were two examples mentioned above). Cornell is unique such that they only have two interview dates, and will have their final decisions out by December, basically 3-4 months faster than every other school. Several schools end their interview seasons in January/February. Additionally, schools usually only have one to two interview dates per month.

    Taking these facts together, MD/PhD interviews on the whole start later and end earlier than the MD counterparts.

    While I wouldn't freak out, it would be a good idea to get these things done fast. You don't want to end up being offered the last few interview slots at schools, only to find out that they all overlap with each other...cause for some strange (and evil) reason, schools love picking the same dates as the other...
     
  13. ecoli

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    I aim to, and am now cursing myself for picking an August MCAT date, though I suppose that can't be helped now. I don't see myself being ready to take it before then, unfortunately.

    Given the fact that MCAT scores won't be out until September, and it'll probably take at least a week (at least) to get my app out after that (the pre-health office at my school has a lag) what would be some good goals to set for my application?

    My primary application, for example, won't be able to go out until my MCAT scores are in, obviously, but how soon after that can I get the secondaries out?

    If I can get that out as fast as logistically possible (by pre-writing essays, etc) I guess mid to late September is still pretty early, right?
     
  14. seraph524

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    Secondaries essentially come in within a week of AMCAS sending out your primary to schools. The one for Columbia actually comes in within minutes. The good thing is that some secondaries actually require no essays! Some that come to mind are WashU, Cornell (they just ask you to write a paragraph as to why you like them), Harvard (NP), Mayo, and Penn. And actually, you will find that if you write about 2-3 unique essays, they can be recycled for the rest basically.

    And September for secondaries is still ahead of the game, so no worries and good luck!
     
  15. ecoli

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    Once again, thank you for being infinitely more helpful than my school's advising office.
     
  16. Ariodant

    Ariodant Fiat Lux
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    NYU also interviews early, and asks for an insane $100 secondary fee.
     
  17. ecoli

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    NYU also requires you to apply separately to their grad school. right? (does that mean the GREs are required, if that's true?)
     
  18. Ariodant

    Ariodant Fiat Lux
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    I don't remember a seperate application. GRE is definitely not required.
     
  19. ecoli

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    I could be thinking of a different school then. Thanks for the info.
     

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